Kersey is home to meerkat advert

Still not know the difference ... The latest Compare the Market adverts feature scenes from the Bell Inn.

Still not know the difference ... The latest Compare the Market adverts feature scenes from the Bell Inn.

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A SMALL Suffolk village is making a big splash as the centrepiece of a national advertising campaign.

Kersey, near Hadleigh, has been transformed into the fictional village of “Meerkovo” for the latest television commercial for comparison website Compare the Market, starring popular meerkat character Aleksandr Orlov.

In the opening scenes a classic car drives through Kersey’s famous Splash, before pulling up in The Street, where the film crew set up fake market stalls and altered several houses when they descended on the village in October.

Pub scenes were filmed inside the Bell Inn – renamed the Queasy Mongoose - where CGI meerkats sup on pints.

Landlady Alyson Tampion said: “It came out really well. The crew spent a day stripping the pub right out, so it’s only the pumps, stools and the bench the meerkat sits on that are ours. The actual meerkats were added in later.

“They left us the pub sign and some pictures which we’ll probably put up, but I don’t think we’ll be changing the name!”

Another venue that features prominently is the village hall, serving as Meerkovo School, where young pups run riot.

As well as featuring in the just-released television commercial, doctored shots of Kersey can also be found on tie-in website www.meerkovo.com, where visitors will soon be able to “explore the village”, suggesting that Kersey will be in the limelight for a while to come.